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Sharepoint EDRMS, Intranet, bespoke process automation for case management

Competition and Markets Authority

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is an independent non-ministerial department set-up to promote competition for the benefit of consumers, both within and outside the UK. Their aim is to make markets work well for consumers, businesses and the economy.

Employing around 700 staff in London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland they are responsible for investigating mergers which could restrict competition, conducting market studies, investigating possible breaches of UK or EU prohibitions against anti-competitive agreements, bringing criminal proceedings against individuals who commit the cartel offence, enforcing consumer protection legislation, co-operating with sector regulators and considering regulatory references and appeals.

The Problem

On the 1st April 2014 the CMA was formed from a merger of the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission. Some of the key drivers for the implementation of a corporate Electronic Document & Records Management System were therefore as follows:

  • Improved accessibility to content by moving to a single repository
  • Better governance and Information Management
  • Compliance with legislative and regulatory policies
  • Improved productivity and efficiency.

Having defined their high-level business requirements and secured funding for the project the CMA undertook a review of the products available for electronic document & records management and decided to adopt Microsoft SharePoint 2013. They then undertook a successful prototype in SharePoint to validate that the product would meet their business requirements. Recognising that they did not have all the necessary technical and business consultancy skills in-house, they then undertook an evaluation of a number of potential suppliers listed on the Government CloudStore framework and selected Deltascheme to be their implementation partners.

The Solution

Deltascheme then worked with the CMA to define, design and implement a corporate Information architecture in Microsoft SharePoint 2013 to deliver their corporate electronic, content, document & records management system. The underlying objectives for the delivery of the system were to provide a solution that was easy and efficient to use, secure, scalable and would ensure good ongoing compliance and governance.

Project Approach

The CMA required all functional areas of the organisation to adopt the new electronic document & records management system as quickly as possible and had tight project timescales. To meet these, the project was undertaken using Deltascheme’s proven implementation methodology which is based on an ‘agile’ approach following a number of parallel running work streams. Interactive workshops were used to quickly identify the requirements and then to rapidly configure SharePoint accordingly without the need for extensive documentation.

The project was commenced in February 2015 and went live in July 2015, in line with the tight project timescales.

One project objective was to avoid bespoke customisation of SharePoint where possible so where functionality was required that was not available out-of-the-box with SharePoint this would be delivered using complimentary 3rd party plug-ins for SharePoint. The high level design of the solution identified the need for a number of complimentary products including:

  • Nintex Workflow, an industry leading workflow tool for SharePoint, provides the engine to control the integration with Agresso and the creation of Site Collections for all the case documentation.
  • Swift Site Creator is particularly well suited to ad-hoc case management types of applications with each one being represented in its own SharePoint Site that displays the case data in a web part. The case data is managed in SharePoint lists with each row item being linked to the case site.
  • Sharegate is a migration tool that enables end users, with a minimal amount of training, to migrate their own historic documentation from network file stores directly into SharePoint.

A more classic ‘waterfall’ approach was adopted, based on standard design documents, to deliver a number of specific aspects of the project such as the interfaces to Agresso, the provision of a records management dashboard, a number of reports and workflows to support the case management requirements. Some PowerShell scripts were also used to automate and accelerate the roll-out of SharePoint across the organisation.

Records Management

To support the comprehensive records management configuration of SharePoint a ‘Records Management Dashboard’ was provided where common information management and records management functions could be accessed. The dashboard included quick links to content type management, column management, site policies, retention schedules, disposition tasks, physical records and term store management. Various Web Part reports were also provided detailing activities such as recently created or modified folders, documents or records. Dynamic links to sites and libraries, created as part of the information architecture, were included as were links to standard library configuration settings.

Retention schedules were defined against content types configured as part of the EDRM system and PowerShell scripts where then used to correctly apply retention schedules to content types and add content types to libraries, etc. Site closure policies were also configured to manage project and case sites. Throughout the project only standard SharePoint 2013 records management features were used, including retention schedules, hold reports and disposition tasks, etc.

Summary of Benefits

A brief summary of the key benefits of the solution are as follows:

  • Templated project and case sites dynamically created by users when required
  • Consistent file plans and content types for each type of project
  • Permissions automatically configured per site.
  • Robust, low maintenance system
  • Automated links to Agresso
  • Improved accessibility to content via a single repository
  • Better governance to avoid duplication, access to the right content, etc.
  • Compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements (policies & procedure adherence, etc.)
  • Improved staff productivity and efficiency